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  • Amanda Stobbs

Permission at Rufford Abbey for Extended Play Facilities for the Disabled

In 2018 Parkwood Leisure, who manage the circa 60-hectare parkland and facilities at Rufford Abbey Country Park, created a new, exciting natural play area comprising a raised feature with climbing nets, slides and tunnels, and several pieces of stand-alone play features, as well as an amphitheatre, landscaping and relocated café kiosk. Such was the success of the play area, further play equipment was added in 2019.

This latest scheme provides for the installation of five further pieces of play equipment, three of which are purposefully designed to accommodate wheelchair users / disabled persons with a fourth piece accessible to all, plus disabled toilet facilities incorporating baby-changing facilities.

The site of the proposed play equipment is extremely sensitive being within the grounds of a Registered Park and Garden and Local Wildlife Site, as well as being within proximity to the Rufford Abbey Scheduled Monument, several Listed Buildings and Local Nature Reserve. Achieving planning permission therefore required several studies to be undertaken and Tyler Parkes worked in co-operation with the Local Planning Authority to ensure this valuable community scheme was not only acceptable in environmental and planning terms, but that it was also determined in a timely manner to meet the funding application timetable. Planning permission was granted 30th December 2020.


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